The President is having bad nightmares about nuclear
war. A former E.S.P. test subject is captured, and brought to
a Research Facility. He meets a female dream researcher, as well
as the Manager. Our hero successfully "dream links"
with a sleeping construction worker.
Meanwhile, the psychic enters the nightmares of a child. While
he is present, (in the dream), the child attacks and kills a bogey
man. The child wakes up, feeling better. A bad psychic dream links
with an old lady, who dies of a heart attack.
The President arrives at the dream lab to supposedly be cured
of his nightmares. The bad psychic tries to scare the President
to death, but he dies in the dream and also dies for real. The
President wakes up and escapes. The good psychic and the female
dream researcher leave together.
Director Joseph Ruben's, DREAMSCAPE, is a clever, thought provoking
Sci-Fi head trip.
Dennis Quaid ("Innerspace") is a former whiz kid, E.S.P.
guy who now uses his special powers to win at the race track.
Quaid, who's known as much for his smirk as his acting, is well
cast as a bright, uniquely talented guy who enjoys beating the
Quaid is kidnapped from the race track and brought to the Thornhill
Research facility, because Max von Sydow ("Flash Gordon")
who he used to work with in college, doing E.S.P. experiments,
wants him to take part in some special dream experiments. Max
von Sydow's threat of an I.R.S. audit, to get Quaid's cooperation,
is both chilling and realistic.
Max von Sydow uses Quaid, in a relaxed state, to enter the dreams
of a construction worker and a troubled child, as an active participant.
Director Ruben, working with his Director of Photography, delivers
some of the most realistic dream sequences ever committed to film.
Quaid's adventure on a high rise under construction, in the construction
worker's dream, is my favorite scene in the film.
Christopher Plummer ("Star Trek 6"), as the man who
runs the Thornhill Research Facility with an iron hand, offers
a silky, yet scary, portrayal of evil incarnate. When Plummer
finds out that the President, who is having nuclear war nightmares,
plans to join with Russia in getting rid of nukes, he puts a plan
into motion to use a bloodthirsty psychic to enter the President's
dream and scare him to death. When Plummer says, "I will
do all I have to keep this country safe," we know he means
what he says.
Kate Capshaw ("Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom")
as a dream researcher, working with Quaid and Sydow, comes across
both smart and sensual. There is a real on screen chemistry between
her and Quaid, particularly in a dream/love making scene on a
Eddie Albert ("Green Acres") is convincing as the President,
plagued by nuclear nightmares. For an actor who has frequently
played rough and gruff characters, throughout his long career,
this is a sympathetic portrayal that rings true.
Max von Sydow, as a brilliant but somewhat ruthless scientist,
once again demonstrates what a fine actor he is. He has a brusque,
father/son type relationship with Quaid, which provides an added
layer of depth to the action.
DREAMSCAPE should be watchable for Sci-Fi fans who like smart,
fast, imaginative films. DREAMSCAPE is a "sleeper" worth
viewing. Happy snoozing, er viewing!
If you liked DREAMSCAPE you may enjoy BRAINSTORM,
ALTERED STATES, and/or FLATLINERS.